Fans mob in Elite elation

Wearing Mardi Gras beads, Cyclone attire and proclaiming their love for the No. 6-ranked ISU men’s basketball team, thousands of ISU students marched on and around campus in a victorious celebration Thursday night.

The impromptu pep rally started minutes after the team advanced to the NCAA’s Elite Eight after romping the UCLA Bruins 80-56 in Detroit, Mich.

Students and Ames residents came from all corners of Campustown and residence associations to fete the win. Some of them were decked out in ISU gear, while other male members of the throng doffed their shirts.

Many of the participants were chanting phrases such as “ISU” and “One more year,” in reference to star forward Marcus Fizer possibly leaving Iowa State for the NBA. Some of them were singing or playing the ISU fight song, while others were just content to scream and cheer.

Although some revelers chanted expletive-ridden phrases about Dry Veishea, the focus of the celebration was on ISU athletics.

Both Ames Police and the ISU Department of Public Safety were on the scene. DPS Director Loras Jaeger, who was acting as public information officer for the incident, said as of 12:45 Friday morning, two people had been arrested and charged with public intoxication, and another was arrested in connection with interference based on a sign that was pulled down.

The crowd’s stroll through Ames stopped at Lake LaVerne, and dozens took the plunge. One male was injured after he jumped in the lake, but Jaeger said he had no details as of press time except for that the man had hurt his head. Mary Greeley was called to the scene.

Jaeger noted that a similar-styled celebration has taken place for the past three years, and all within the same week.

“We’ve been hearing rumors that something was going to happen this night, and it just so happens it coincided with the victory of the Iowa State basketball team,” he said.

Jaeger said although a few signs were taken down and some property was damaged, for the most part, the students were fairly well-behaved.

“For the most part, the crowd was just festive. Obviously, when you have a couple hundred people running around, some people will be irresponsible. We understand that people feel the need to celebrate the success,” he said.

And the students seemed content with the celebration.

“We came to show how proud we are of ISU,” said Alyssa Stoner, freshman in pre-health. Stoner began following the crowd after she heard chants from her dorm room.

Jaeger noted that the participants took a similar route to past year’s predecessors, by looping through Campustown, the various associations, the greek community located off Beach Avenue and even the Knoll.

“This is the best time I’ve ever had at ISU,” said Susie Brantsen, sophomore in pre-architecture, one of the participants.

— reported by Daily staff writers Michelle Kann, Kate Kompas and Amie Van Overmeer.